Through the Lens with Haddington Camera Club.

By Sam & Gavin Khan-McIntyre

Commisioned East Lothian Courier

Haddington Camera club members showcase their talents in their annual exhibition at the John Gray Centre, coinciding with the organization’s 60th anniversary.

Taking place between 18 May and 12 June, the exhibition of 125 digital images incorporates a diverse range of work, from 41 of the club’s 60 strong membership. It takes place in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery, on the top floor of the venue.  The private viewing on the 17th of May  attracted members, along with their family and friends. People milled around admiring and discussing the photographs, uniformly hung and enhanced by silver frames.

Longstanding member 80 year-old Roy Myers  said: ‘I’ve been in the camera club since 1972 […] my mother had a camera in 1934’, which he learnt to use, and was developing film at the age of 7.  He continued that ‘in relation to computer technology I take a neutral view and I’m more into the art side of things’. He discussed a photo he had taken of a British Airways Concorde and talked about employing the rule of thirds to proportion the photo, as well as the use of light and shade. These he said are also techniques used in fine art.

The value of photography as art was also expressed in the club’s literature at the event, which stated that: ‘photography should be regarded as art; it is like viewing a painting or sculpture. It is the individual person whose attention is attracted and who interprets the image uniquely’.

The club’s website designer Lesley Clarke had two photos in the exhibition: one was called The ‘Writing on the Wall’ and was of an old- fashioned washbasin with a ‘no drinking water’ sign in a public bathroom in Sheffield. It conveyed the atmosphere of another era still present in parts of Sheffield.

James White who exhibited a photo called ‘Wells Cathedral said:I took the picture because it was a nice place and beautiful day.’ The photo was a picturesque scene of the cathedral and grounds, and included a woman with a child sitting under a tree.

Mike Shakespeare, the club treasurer explained how the club works:  ’we give advice, enjoy it, and if you want to learn something come forward and ask.. We look forward to new members and some of the good photographs made. People can learn more about computers, art and the technical side.’He mentioned some of its activities:‘We have photography expeditions, last year these were to Lindisfarne and country houses and gardens. We set a completion on the visits.’

Clarke explained what motivated her to join: ‘I’ve always taken photos and I like it from a social point of view.’  She added that 40 people go each week, and after the talks, there is time for a cup of tea and a chat. She said all sorts of people attend the weekly meetings, ranging in age of 15 to 80-year-olds, a mixture of men and women.

The exhibition takes place every year at St Mary’s Parish Church in Haddington. However this year the club’s anniversary and the recent opening of the John Gray centre in 2012 lead to the change of venue.

Exhibition opening times are Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 1-4.

Club meetings are held between the months of September-April in the Poldrate Arts Centre.

These take place on Tuesdays at 7.30

More information can be found at:

 http://www.haddingtoncameraclub.org.uk/

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